Hello hello hello,
second day of placement and I just feel so so positive about this school, and this saturation week. As I have said before, I feel so much more supported learning wise, and a lot more confident. Even the difference between the children is quite a lot; these seem more open to being taught, and are a lot more well behaved. There are, of course, the usual ‘naughty’ ones, but every class has them, and to be honest, they can be dealt with, even though they can be quite disruptive. More on that later. I also feel more accepted as a student teacher; not that I was not in the other school, however I feel like this one is more useful to me, and my learning. I feel like I am part of the staff, rather than a volunteer; someone did some photocopying for me today! I am also ‘allowed’ to give out house points if I think that someone has done a particularly good job, and that in itself is such a nice feeling!!
This morning, the class teacher actually had her PPA time, so was not teaching. Instead, we had a Spanish lesson, which was rather shortened, as the children had to get changed for P.E. Nevertheless, it was very interesting, and had me remembering my Espanol (forgive the lack of accent por favor). It was very fun, and was actually my first time observing a modern foreign languages lesson. She had already gone through the animals before with the class, so this was a bit of reinforcement. For the register, the children said their favourite animal either in Spanish or in English, along with the actions they had been taught for each of them. There was also an interesting clapping and number sequence to get the children settled and ready to learn, and it was rather effective as they all paid attention to it. The work the group I was sat with was a worksheet, which involved matching the name of the animal to the picture. My two boys managed to do two pairs before it was time to go off to assembly, which was a shame as I would have enjoyed a longer Spanish lesson.
I did, however, sit in on a school council meeting, which was quite cute. As a course rep for my specialism, it was funny to see how the role is pretty much the same, just with different types of issues and responsibilities. The main issue of the day was hoodies for year 6s, with the names of everyone in their year on it. A bit grown up, but what do I know? There were about 18 children, who were all elected by their classmates; two from each class, and most seemed very interested in this meeting (they were missing out on assembly so there may have been vested interest…) and both the chair and minute taker were children, so they were fully involved in every aspect, which was good to see.
After the meeting, and after break, it was time for P.E. and it was very good! I had not yet seen this subject, and it was taken by the only male, full time teacher in the school. He was working on their balance, and had them sitting on their bottoms and balancing in a ‘v’ shape, playing with cones and then in groups passing objects round first with their hands and then their feet. He was very good and had their attention almost all the time. He used ‘home spots’ which are circular, coloured spots which the children sat on and when the teacher shook his tambourine, they had to return to their home spots no matter where they had been in the class. A good method I think, of returning order to an otherwise chaotic lesson! He also had a fab technique of knowing who was listening to him. He would call out ‘the best listeners have their hands on their heads’, but then put his hands on his shoulders, so he could see who was actually listening and put their hands on their heads, and who was simply copying him. V. interesting. I managed to get a lesson plan off of him (and the Spanish teacher) which was really good! He also spoke a lot about success and failure, and how they were both equally important in trying new things and working hard. I was certainly worked hard getting the stragglers dressed back into their uniforms, they went ten minutes into their lunch break, but even that thought did not hurry them on! The class teacher came back in at lunch and helped me with my lesson plan and gave me tips on how to improve it. So helpful! I then spent lunch eating and rewriting up lists for the class.
After lunch, a supply teacher came in to take the class, and this is where the chaos started. While introducing the maths for the afternoon, she spoke rather sharply to a child who was, admittedly, not behaving himself. He then ran off, out of the classroom and into the classroom, prompting his one to one learning support lady to run after him, and then the teaching assistant shortly afterwards. The supply teacher looked at me in despair, saying ‘well sometimes talking to him like that works’. She talked over the heads of the rest of the class, and actually got up and left the room, leaving me with a class of 20 plus children looking very confused. One little girl turned to me and said ‘What are we going to do now?’ so I took the opportunity and ran through the exercise they had been doing, which was counting from zero in twos. They managed it very well, and the supply teacher came back in and took over the class. I feel very very proud of myself for being able to take the class (albeit for a very short space of time), thinking of doing it, and having the class actually listen to me. Major confidence boost, let me tell you! The supply teacher used a puppet at one point, counting up in twos, and occasionally getting it wrong, for the children to correct, which was a good way of assessing who knew what. I was then given a group to help do a worksheet, which went very well up until they got confused and then started shoving sheets in my face to check. Thankfully they were wanted back on the carpet before it came to blows. Although I was told that I wasn’t a real teacher (but I would like to think that that is because of the red colour of my visitor lanyard, compared with the green staff lanyard, as opposed to anything else).
I then took another group for a design session, and again, the children listened to me, and stopped playing around when I told them to; hallelujah!! I was actually supposed to take one more group, but I think the supply teacher got confused because she got everyone to pack away, gave them fruit and then read to them. Which is nice, but also means that the groups are all missing out on one activity. We will see how that pans out later!
One of the TAs was leaving today, so the class teacher came in and sat the children in a circle and asked them each to say something nice about her, and wish her good luck in her future, which was very sweet, and very nearly resulted in tears (from the TA of course). I was then put on cake duty, to make sure that only one piece of either flap jack or chocolate cake was taken (I had both – teacher privileges!). I quite enjoyed that task!
I have spent quite a while trying to plan my lesson for Thursday; we are building houses, and I have watched numerous videos, contacted people, and read many articles regarding construction and fingers crossed, I may have something half way decent! We shall see when it gets to the day I guess!